How to Install Ubuntu Linux on Galaxy Tab 10.1! [Tabuntu]

Video demo of Ubuntu on Galaxy Tab 10.1:

For those of you Ubuntu lovers out there, if you did pick up a Galaxy Tab 10.1, did you know you can run a Ubuntu OS running side by side along with your Android tablet?

Well, this has been done many times on other Android smartphones before but certainly the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a perfect device to put Ubuntu, let me introduce you to “Tabuntu”.

What we are doing here isn’t replacing Android OS completely but Ubuntu runs in the background “chrooted” or like a virtual machine.

Why would you want to run Ubuntu on Galaxy Tab 10.1?

Although Android is very similar to Linux (and is based off Linux), you cannot run native Linux programs on Android. By introducing Ubuntu to Android, you can run existing Ubuntu applications on your Galaxy Tab 10.1. For most, this isn’t a big deal but for a little community called Ubuntu, this could be huge.

Besides that, having Ubuntu run on Android could be very useful for educational purposes like for college, so you can have Android and Ubuntu running both at the same time.

And lastly, “why not”?

Step 1 - How to Install Ubuntu on Galaxy Tab 10.1!

Anyways, here’s how to install Ubuntu on your Galaxy Tab 10.1 or any other rooted Android tablet device.

First, you will need your Galaxy Tab 10.1 rooted, you can follow our step-by-step instructions on how to root your Galaxy Tab 10.1 before we begin.


Step 2 - Download Files you will need

Download below and unzip it, you should get a folder called “ubuntu”.


If you don’t have Android SDK, just download this, unzip it, and put it in the root folder of your computer. E.g. Windows, put it in c:\ so you will have c:\adb directory. For other operating systems, you can get ADB by downloading the Android SDK for your appropriate operating system.

And you need to download busybox files:
Download busybox file

Step 3 - How to Install Busybox on Galaxy Tab 10.1!

If you’ve already installed Busybox, you can skip this step.

Otherwise, you need to install Busybox on your Galaxy Tab 10.1.  Copy over the to the root folder of your Tab 10.1, run Clockwork Recovery, then flash the zip file.

Here’s a video tutorial you can follow on how to install Busybox on your Galaxy Tab 10.1:


Step 4 - Copy Ubuntu folder into Tab 10.1!

You need to copy over the ubuntu folder you unzipped earlier over to root folder of your Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Step 5 - ADB shell and Run some scripts!

Open up a command prompt/shell by typing “cmd” under Start->Search for Windows.   For Linux/Mac, open a shell.

Go into the adb directory (or your SDK directory) by typing:

cd \adb

Then type:

adb shell

You should be now in shell of your Tab 10.1, if you don’t, you didn’t install the Tab 10.1 drivers correctly. (You can download Tab 10.1 drivers and install them.)

Next type:

cd /sdcard/ubuntu

Then type:


Don’t worry if you get errors and type:


If you get a Ubuntu linux shell at this point, congratulations, your Ubuntu is now running in the background of your Android!

Step 6 - Install some Ubuntu packages and VNC Server for GUI!


apt-get update

to update all the packages.

*Optional - You can also install SSH access by typing:

apt-get install openssh-server

Next, let’s setup a VNC server so we can visually access our Ubuntu Gnome desktop.


apt-get install tightvncserver

to Install tightvncserver

Then type:

export USER=root


vncserver -geometry 1280×800

You can set your VNC server password here.

This starts our VNC server and we can log into it using any VNC program from a computer or from our own Tab 10.1

Step 7 - Login to your Ubuntu on your Galaxy Tab 10.1!

To login from your own Tab 10.1, download the free app “Android VNC Viewer” off market.

Set the IP address to “″, enter the password you set earlier, then set port to 5901.

You should be now seeing the Ubuntu desktop.  If so, congratulations!

Now, you can hook up bluetooth mouse and keyboard to make it a fully-functional Ubuntu desktop.

How to Fix the Keyboard Mapping!

When you connect a bluetooth mouse, it might be a bit off, here’s how to fix it.

Type this:

cat > $HOME/.vnc/xstartup

Then copy and paste the below:

xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
#x-terminal-emulator -geometry 80×24+10+10 -ls -title “$VNCDESKTOP Desktop” &
#x-window-manager &


Then hit Ctrl+D twice and hit Enter.

Basically I added the line “export XKL_XMODMAP_DISABLE=1″ before “/etc/X11/Xsession” to fix the keyboard mapping.

You can also just edit the file $HOME/.vnc/xstartup with your favorite text editor too.

*Note - You might have to reboot your device and start Ubuntu again.

Extra - How to Reboot/Restart your Ubuntu!

When you turn off your Tab 10.1 completely and reboot, you need to restart your Ubuntu if you want to use it.


adb shell

Then change directory to ubuntu:

cd /sdcard/ubuntu

Then run:


Then kill instances of VNC server (just to make sure):

killall Xtightvnc


vncserver -geometry 1280×800

Make sure you use a small-case “x”, sometimes when you copy and paste, it will change!

Video Tutorial on How to Install Ubuntu on Galaxy Tab 10.1

I took a video of me installing Ubuntu on my Galaxy Tab 10.1 so this might be helpful while you follow the directions:

Final Words

For now, Ubuntu’s browser seems a bit laggy but still usable, I would say it’s only a bit slower than Atrix’s own WebTop.  In another year or so when they come out with 2Ghz+ dual-core processors, I think Ubuntu will be very usable.


Thanks to DroidBasement for the Busybox zip file.
You can check out my original guide on how to put Ubuntu on Android at too.

In the meanwhile, I am going to see if I can take out all the unneeded packages from Ubuntu and perhaps add some optimizations.  If you want to help, don’t forget to leave your tips in the comments line!


If you like this post, please CLICK HERE to subscribe to my YouTube channel, THANKS A TON BUD, I OWE YOU ONE!

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181 Responses to How to Install Ubuntu Linux on Galaxy Tab 10.1! [Tabuntu]

  1. nancy says:

    good work
    runs on 10.1v?


  2. Pingback: » Download And Install Ubuntu On Samsung Galaxy Tab10.1. (Video)

  3. transbuntu says:

    did this on my asus tf101 thw night it arrived… its really what sold me on getting a tablet
    a couple of things:
    u need to chmod +x the xatartup file or u will just get a grey x11 screen when u try to connect
    lxde would be a more sensible choice than gnome
    i also found pocketcloud to be a nicer vnc client

  4. Pingback: “Tabuntu” Gives Some Ubuntu Love to the Galaxy Tab 10.1

  5. The Barba says:

    Did you try to install Ubuntu Remix? I think is going to more easy to use.

  6. Arthur Barros says:

    Now i see a porpuse to have a tablet! i was wondering if it’s possible install Apache, PHP and Mysql on it!

  7. Mr. Awesome says:

    does this work on a Galaxy Tab 7 in (Original) ?

  8. David056 says:

    Ubuntu Remix might not working on ARM….

  9. zhanggang says:

    very cool

    any more picture about installing ?

  10. Nick says:

    Any confirmation that this works on Galaxy Tab 7? Also, what are the chances of running Windows applications through Wine on Tabuntu?

  11. Erez says:

    This works great.
    However, the 2GB image it too small. I’d like to have a 3.5 GB image. Any idea how to do it?

    Thank you.

  12. Christian says:

    hi i have a problem
    cd: sdcard/ubuntu
    say cd: can`t cd to sdcard/ubuntu

  13. Andrew Clunis says:

    This is awesome, pretty, and danged useful.

    However, it appears that the real weak point is VNC. The lag artifacts I see in the video suggest that Firefox is actually pretty responsive and rendering the page pretty quickly (nice!), but it’s taking a tiny eternity to get the results on the screen. The real question becomes, how do we get high performance X11 graphics on Android?

    It occurs to me that good ol’ XGL[1] (an accelerated X server that renders to OpenGL) could be the answer, provided it can trivially use GL ES. The code is a little unmaintained now, so it would likely need some love regardless. Wrap it into an Android app that launches your chroot environment appropriately, and you’d have a real winner. Presumably even games, fullscreen YouTube, and “desktop effects” could work!

    Is there an Ubuntu on Android project IRC channel somewhere?

    (incidentally, another problem to deal with might be Android mangling your keyboard bindings on your bluetooth keyboard; I know that in ConnectBot trying to use emacs with a fullsize 101-key keyboard is a lost cause)


  14. Roy says:

    Congratulations - great work producing the Ubuntu on Nexus and Ubuntu on Tablet tutorials, and the images and install scripts.

    You can now add to your site, confirmation that what works for the Galaxy Tab also works for the Acer A500 (16 Gbyte version) Tablet. There’s a few little issues still to sort out which I’ll get to in a few lines.

    Except for the instructions re how to root the device, the remainder of your Galaxy Tab instructions work perfectly - although I did use a Ubuntu computer rather than a windows computer to run adb.

    The issues which I’m still working on are:

    1) No matter whether I use Android VNC from the A500 tablet, or one of three different VNC clients from my Ubuntu 11.04 notebook, I have a keyboard mapping problem. The mapping for every key is wrong. For instance, when I press “h” on the keyboard, I get a “k” displayed in “Tabuntu”. Same for pressing a “j” which prints a “;”. And the bottom row of the US Generic Keyboard (z thru /) don’t display at all. I’m sure that there’s a logical answer to that issue. I just haven’t found it yet….

    2) On the Acer A500, I connected my Logitech DiNovo Mini Bluetooth keyboard. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a small (150 mm wide) QWERTY keyboard with trackpad mouse built in. The keyboard works out of the box. But I haven’t worked out how to get the mouse part of the keyboard working yet. I’ve got the keyboard and mouse working on other Ubuntu x86 distributions, so I should also be able to get the Logitech bluetooth keyboard working on Tabuntu.

    3) Performance on the Acer A500 looks to be about the same as your Galaxy Tab in the video. Firefox appears like it may be a bit quicker on the Acer. I’m actually surprised at how well Open Office runs, but I think I’ll try Abiword or one of the other word processor packages that has a lesser memory and CPU footprint, if they’ve been ported to ARM. Open Office causes causes the CPU to run at 50 to 75% which means that response can be slow at times.

    So - that’s my input. Thanks for the excellent work.

  15. Leo says:

    I had installed the ubuntu~
    but here comes some questions
    1. the keyboard mapping is no right
    2. after I reboot my Galaxy Tab 10.1, than I startup the ubuntu, but I can’t connect back by the VNCviewer

    Thx for helping about that~

  16. Jason says:


    Is that a standard build or does it contain something unique? The reason I ask is that I’d like to try other builds if possible and want to ensure that there’s nothing unique about that zipped version.


  17. motaz reda says:

    hi man realy very cool but i need just one question how do u make this from an ubuntu.iso file

    plz i need the answer

    bye bro

  18. OnceAgain says:

    Hi, is it possible that you try a lighter linux OS such as Lubuntu, Puppy Linux, etc next time? Pretty sure they will run faster and be slightly more usable.

    Thanks for your work!

  19. DoctorPc says:

    Hi there
    Is there someone that tried this successfully in the 7″ Galaxy Tab? Thanks

  20. Dominik says:

    Also proposing Lubuntu as a light but still ubuntu based alternative…

  21. Dominik says:

    What is the exact size of the available screen. If we would start the vncserver with eg. Geometry 1280×740 we should get the full desktop?
    What is the exact height of the status bar?

  22. Joe says:

    Any idea how I can start ubuntu after a reboot without using the adb shell? I tried using android emulator to start ubuntu as root and initiate a vnc session. This seems to have worked but my vnc clients are refusing to connect to the localhost ip. Any thoughts?

    Also I think its better to use ‘vncserver -geometry 1280×750′ to create the vnc session because it fits perfect even with the android hc home bar.

    • Joe says:

      You can boot ubuntu from the Android Terminal on the device without connecting through it using ADB SHELL. The instructions are mostly the same… as follows:

      # su
      root@droid$ cd /sdcard/ubuntu
      root@droid$ bootubuntu
      root@tabuntu$ killall Xtightvnc
      root@tabuntu$ vncserver -geometry 1280×750

      If you get vnc errors saying that sessions X# are locked. It will assign you a new session, whatever your session number is should be reflected in the port when you try to connect through android. For example if the session you are given is n, then your port should be 590n.

      • Jason says:

        I get that error, but I still can’t vnc in with your proposed solution. Any other ideas?

        • Joe says:

          Hey Jason,

          What is the output when you run ‘vncserver -geometry 1280×750′?

          Can you verify that ‘ping -c 5′ works from the android terminal (not ubuntu’s)?

          - Joe

  23. richdf says:

    @Christian - I know you may have already sorted this, but there’s no colon (:) required.

  24. Doug says:

    Hey guy’s I got the ubuntu installed on my galaxy tab.
    but I have a problem how do I get the galaxy keybord to work? when I try to type the keyboard does no appear.

    • Joe says:

      My keyboard is also not working properly, mine appears but the keys seemed to be mapped completely wrong. I am using an onscreen keyboard and not a BT keyboard. Does anyone know how to fix the mapping issues?

  25. Doug says:

    Ok I got the keybord working. But I know I have made a lot of mistakes. So how do I start all over. I would like to put the tab back to the orginal config and then reroot and install Ubuntu again.

  26. Jason says:

    Looks like I’m having more issues.

    Now when I reboot my ubuntu and vnc in, I get this screen >>

    Have tried rebooting a few times with no luck?


    • Ceadda says:

      Has anybody found the solution to Jason’s issue? i have the same problem. first install, went great. after a reboot, gray screen. tablet itself works fine, but the vnc of ubuntu is not working.

  27. Hamburgler says:

    I am a new ubuntu user so this may come off a slightly low brow, but as some of the posts have already suggested there is an issue with adding new packages to the running ubuntu. I was wondering if there was some way to edit the standard ubuntu package to add software and files or if there was a way to connect ubuntu to the tab’s drive space in order to unzip, install, run packages. Thanks for any thoughts.

  28. Baren says:

    Great Vid!
    After running bootubuntu, I get this message:
    To enter the Ubuntu Linux console just type ‘bootubuntu’
    shell@android:/sdcard/ubuntu $ bootubuntu
    /system/bin/sh: bootubuntu: not found
    127|shell@android:/sdcard/ubuntu $
    When I ran sh
    shell@android:/sdcard/ubuntu $ sh
    mount: Operation not permitted
    modprobe: chdir(/system/lib/modules): No such file or directory
    ←[H←[Jrm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    mkdir failed for /data/local/mnt, File exists
    ←[H←[Jrm failed for /system/bin/fsrw, Read-only file system
    rm failed for /system/bin/bootubuntu, Read-only file system
    rm failed for /system/bin/unionfs, Read-only file system
    rm failed for /system/bin/mountonly, Read-only file system
    cp: can’t create ‘/system/bin/fsrw’: Read-only file system
    cp: can’t create ‘/system/bin/bootubuntu’: Read-only file system
    cp: can’t create ‘/system/bin/unionfs’: Read-only file system
    cp: can’t create ‘/system/bin/mountonly’: Read-only file system
    Unable to chmod bootubuntu: Operation not permitted
    Unable to chmod adb: Read-only file system
    Ubuntu Chroot Bootloader v0.1
    Ubuntu Bootloader is now installed!
    This process does NOT damage Android OS!

    Original Installer by Charan Singh
    Modified for Ubuntu Chroot by Max Lee at , and NexusOn

    I do have my galaxy drivers installed.
    Any suggestion?


    • IrealiTY says:

      Same problem here… did you found anything?

    • Nick says:

      Looks like you arent root user and thats why it cant perform the operations. You need to download Super User free app from market and then open Terminal Emulator from that app so can give permission to let it have root privledges when you type su command

      • Nick says:

        Your command prompt should say root and have a # symbol instead of the $ symbol. Those numbers before your prompt like the 127| are the username you were automatically asigned when you opened the terminal. You switch to super user by typing the “su” command. But it will say perIssion denied if you dont use the Super User app to allow your terminal program root access

    • deiky says:

      missing busybox mate

  29. bold says:

    flashing busybox left me with scrambled screen and unusable P7510.

  30. Jen says:

    I can’t get to complete download. Does anyone know what this file is or where else I could obtain it?

  31. Fred says:

    Thanks! Sounds a better! 140KB/s

  32. IrealiTY says:

    The download link is down :<

  33. James says:

    I can get as far as apt-get update but I get the error sh: apt-get: not found. Any ideas anyone?

    • Nick says:

      If you are getting the apt-get not found error it means you didnt start Ubuntu. That is a ubuntu only command so its not on the android shell you start with in the beginning of the process. And of course how can you run update for Ubuntu if you aren’t even in the Ubuntu shell?
      Type this:
      adb shell
      apt-get update

      But when I try update I get file not found errors because the remote host it connects to seems to no longer utilize apt-get command for updating Ubuntu

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  35. jophi says:

    what have i done wrong?

    # sh bootubuntu
    mknod: /dev/loop1: File exists
    losetup: /dev/block/loop1: Value too large for defined data type
    mount: Invalid argument
    mount: No such file or directory
    mount: No such file or directory
    mount: No such file or directory
    sysctl: error setting key ‘net.ipv4.ip_forward’: Permission denied
    Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS and
    bootubuntu[22]: cannot create /data/local/ubuntu/etc/resolv.conf: No such file or directory
    bootubuntu[23]: cannot create /data/local/ubuntu/etc/resolv.conf: No such file or directory
    Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
    bootubuntu[25]: cannot create /data/local/ubuntu/etc/hosts: No such file or directory
    Brought to you by and the open source community!

    chroot: can’t change root directory to /data/local/ubuntu: Permission denied

    Shutting down Ubuntu

    Plz help me, thx

    • admin says:

      You need to root your Tab 10.1 first!

      • IrealiTY says:

        same error but im rooted~

        • Nick says:

          You need to make sure you have super user rights in the terminal emulator. If you have the # then you might still not be in full root access. I thought I was because after using the computer to connect with the tab and get root access it confused the emulator program so it always had just the # there for prompt. Open the Super User program that you download free at the market then open the terminal from there. Now when you enter the “su” command it will ask you if the terminal program should be allowed to access the root and you select YES of course. Now every time you type the su command you’ll see a tiny message on the bottom of the screen that says “Emulator has been granted root access ”

          Then when you type bootubuntu you won’t get any error messages at all

        • Nick says:

          Then your screen will look like this if you haved used Super User app to properly give root permission to Terminal Emulator

          # export PATH=/data/local/bin:$PATH
          # su
          # bootubuntu
          mknod: /dev/loop1: File exists
          net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
          Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS and
          Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
          Brought to you by and the open source community!


  36. Saturn says:

    Ubuntu software center not works for me
    how can i install softwares on it????

  37. Jen says:

    Did anyone get the keyboard working?

  38. 1337GameDev says:

    I discovered the problem with the commands. I encountered the “file system is read only” command because my ADB console was not recognized as a root allowed interface and “super user” denied the actions.
    You have to type “su” (super user) after u get into the adb shell, then accept the “super user request” popup. If you don’t the install will fail and cannot proceed. I don’t know if you need “su” after installation to boot it. I also installed “remote vnc” from android market to get a refresh rate boost over “android vnc”. You can boot linux from the tab by getting a terminal emulator (i used “better terminal emulator”) and using the same commands as above. Same goes for ADB shell, type “su” and accept any super user requests or it will fail.

    I also installed busybox installer form market, so no need to flash any zip file.

    How do we allocate more ram / cpu to ubuntu to speed it up? The chrooted version seems to not use much at all, even when we are making desktop redraws (which causes it to be almost unuseable as an actual production environment as is mor elike a cool trick).

    How would we get the program to use more cpu when we are in the vnc?
    How do we shut down ubuntu when we exit vnc so it doesnt eat up cpu cycles / battery? I see no host processes that are doing anything yet ram and cpu useage seems higher even if i exit the vnc client watching ubuntu. (btw my tab is OC’d to 1.4 ghz so it should easily handle ubuntu as my sisters 1ghz netbook handles it just fine, even if i limit it to 128 mb ram)

    • Nick says:

      You exit Ubuntu at the terminal by typing exit and it says Ubuntu shutting down…
      Then its closed and you’re back to the android emulator terminal with its limited commands

  39. ravi says:

    To admin.. thanks for giving such techniques to install ubuntu.. i tried it with my samsung tablet 10.1 v but after installing Busybox in my tablet and after rebooting the tab.. i am unable to see my screen after LOGO of samsung .. it looks like crashed screen.. i can hear the sound of restarting and vibration of rebooting but unable to see the screen. it seems like it stuck after samsung logo… please help me out .. :(

  40. 1337GameDev says:

    If your tablet fails to boot up you have to put it into doqnload mode. It explains how to do so on the rooting tutorial for galaxy tab 10.1, it should be the same as 10.1v of the tab. Download a stock archive of the firmeware for the tab, wipe data on the tablet (to make sure you have no orphaned files) then flash it using odin. Wiping data is nwcessary btw to ensure no checksum hacked files are not ignored in tbe flash process.

    Verify root by using superuser and using apps like adfree or better terminl umulator or even the adb console tp verify superuser is running. Also dont forget to use the sudo command (just su) to elevate your permissions to super user in any console interface.

    Use the busybox app from tbe market, idk if the archive you guys are flashing is being updated or modified for compatibility and that may be the problem.

  41. ravi says:

    nothing is working to solve the same screen problem.. .. is there any way to download the company fix busybox or to uninstall the crupted installed busybox.. .. i guess i am not alone getting this problem. is there any factory backup file to download for this version? :(

  42. adryan says:

    Does anyone know if there is any issues with Google i/o edition seriously all these .zip files like the overclock and busybox one keep messing up my table i get that horrible screen of lines and colors. Any answers would be appreciated as im getting tired of all these files messing up my screen

  43. roy says:

    i got this error after ‘bootubuntu’

    127|root@android:/sdcard/ubuntu # bootbuntu

  44. Alexander says:

    Loving Ubuntu on my new device, but is there any way to add more storage memory for ubuntu to use? At the moment it only allows about 50MB into my /root/ folder.

    Also, Software Center does not work.

  45. 1337GameDev says:

    Google for the stock tablet rom file and use odin to flash it. There is a tutorial on how to flash a firmeware file. Follow instructions on how to flash it feom this website. It worked fine on my galaxy tab 10.1. It should be the same for the 10.1v but idk bout the i/o edition. U should be able to find firmeware files for the tablet you have easily. Watch for wifi or cell radio versions and get the file that matches your model.

    On how to expand the space you could recreate the iso image and make the file bigger (the image is mounted as the filesystem for ubuntu so it only has access to that at default).

    And for the folder not found, make sure the setup sh script for ubuntu completed sucessfully (no filesystem read only errors). If you get them make sure to type “su” after u get into the adb shell on your device. Wait for superuser to see you want elevated permissions and tap allow. If u dont see that message the install will fail. Try rebooting tablet and updating super user. It took me a few tries to get it to see i wanted super user access. Afterwards it remembered my accept decision when i invoke super user access.

  46. Alexander says:

    How about running ubuntu 11? This seems more touch-friendly?

  47. 1337GameDev says:

    U have to compile ubuntu for the ARM architecture (which is the cpu type tablets and phones use). You also need to find a way to allocate more cpu and ram to the ubuntu install. Right now it doesnt utilize much and is not very useable. If we can find a way to emulate x86 or allocate more available ram, memory storage, and cpu power. Until we can do that this project isnt going anywhere im afraid :/

  48. Rosh says:


    I’ve just tried this step by step and every step is done up to the command “bootubuntu”, then i get:

    mknodmknod: /dev/loop2: File exists
    ioctl LOOP_SET_FD failed: Device or resource busy
    mount: Device or resource busy
    mount: Device or resource busy
    mount: Device or resource busy
    net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
    Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS and
    Brought to you by and the open source community!

    bash: precmd: command not found
    root@android:/ #

    Does that mean that i can’t get to Linux shell? What’s the problem??
    Setting localhost
    Brought to you by

    bash: precmd: comm
    root@android:/ #

  49. Rosh says:

    Oh! I have to mention that at the top as i give the command “adb shell”, i get

    root@android:/ #

    but in the video tutorial, it’s without root@android:/ and the command line begins just with #



  50. 1337GameDev says:

    Describe ever command u did. After u type adb shell and hit enter, type su and hit enter. The symbol should be $ and not # to indicate root.
    If it doesnt work, delete ubuntu folder, put files back on and retry commands. Try rebooting tablet as well. Sometimes android can be picky.

  51. Rosh says:

    But there is # in the video tutorial !!?

  52. 1337GameDev says:

    His termunal probably was autorecognized as root, for me more it wasnt. I typed su and hit enter and it had a super user prompt pop up. Then it worked. Without doing that it failed. Entering the command su wont hurt anything. If u dont need it then oh well, if u did then its one less problem.

  53. Brad eDigi says:

    Just in case anyone was having trouble with installing packages with apt-get, Karmic was discontinued months ago so there are not longer any hosted repositories online to install packages from.

    No problem, just use vi and edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file (inside the Ubuntu chroot) and change karmic to lucid…

    That’s it, just save and then type apt-get update… You can now install packages again, however be prepared for long dependency chains updating when installing new software.

    • Nick says:

      Thanks so much for explaining this. My friend wouldn’t believe me when I said I installed everything correctly. But can you be a bit more clear on the instructions you gave? I really wanna get this to work properly. Also what about the vnc server? Isn’t there somewhere else to download that app with the apt-get command?
      Sorry if my questions are stupid.
      Please answer even if you think its already self explanatory because I also answered lots of questions if you look through these postings. So it would be awesome to get this apt-get thing fixed. I don’t know why the author of this article won’t edit and update it
      Especially with the Galaxy 10.1 still being pretty new and lots of people finding this same article posted all across the web. It comes up like 10 times in a row in Google search results.

  54. Oudam says:

    I got a problem in pc as same as in android terminal emulator

    root@android:/mnt/sdcard/ubuntu # bootubuntu
    sh: bootubuntu: not found
    please help brother!!!!

  55. john says:

    Well done for working on this. I am a linux novice but would really like to run Rosegarden on my Galaxytab.
    I got ubuntu to run but stumbled at keyboard mapping and also found repositories out of date.

    Will you be making another up to date image, if so is it possible to include the appropriate keyboard setting.

    Thanks John

  56. john says:

    update from last post
    got keyboard fixed by vi /etc/apt/sources.list changed karmic to lucid
    ran update and everythhing seems fine didnt need to edit .vnc/startup
    writing this from ubuntu on tab ;<)

    • Nick says:

      Thanks for the exact syntax of using vi command
      I also noticed whenI enter su the first time it says Terminal granted root access. Then if you enter it again it says root granted super user permission. I wonder if that makes any difference? It changes the hash tag # prompt to root@

      • Nick says:

        Changes # to the root@android:/ #
        So maybe entering the su command twice back to back is causing some confusion with the level of permission you escalate the user to

    • Nick says:

      Actually the vi editor is rather complicated to use because you cant use touch screen or mouse and cant use arrows on keyboard either. Would be great if it had a replace option for command line use? But I also can’t find that directory and file. Is it installed with the Galaxy tab drivers or something? Even with root browser I only found one etc folder and there’s no apt directory.

      I didn’t think any directories were added to the root folders when the ran but then I looked inside and see maybe some directories are indeed made? But no apt or sources.list is mentioned in that file
      I need to learn the command to search for a file throughout the whole directory listing

    • Nick says:

      I found the exact path for that file now:
      I used the Ted app from market to edit the file and change Karmic to lucid and now update should work with the apt-get command

      • Nick says:

        Turns out Ted and most other editors can’t save the file after edit so only the vi editor works from command prompt. But it sucks how moving the cursor uses certain letters instead of the arrow keys

      • CS says:

        i can’t find the /data/local/ubuntu/etc/apt/sources.list that you meantion . i only able to get in /data/local/ubuntu . and using ls command it say folder empty .

  57. 1337GameDev says:

    You wrote that post on your tab from ubuntu? How slow was it? Any way to increase how much cpu gets allocated to ubuntu or speed it up (without switching shells)???

  58. john says:

    this all works fine, used synaptic package manager instead of update centre to remove all stuff i didnt need to make enough space to load stuff i wanted. vnc is laggy and file mgt/ image size restrictions are an issue.
    now i know it works does anyone have some straight forward instructions to load ubuntu or other linux flavour direct instead of android (or dual boot) (a way to reinstall android would be good if i mess it up)

    thanks john

  59. Dave says:

    so i did everything exactly as you said, but when send the command for i get said errors,
    127|shell@android:/mnt/sdcard/ubuntu # sh
    sh[2]: modprobe: not found[4]: clear: not found
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    rm failed for -f, No such file or directory
    mkdir failed for /data/local/mnt, File exists[14]: clear: not found
    rm failed for /system/bin/fsrw, No such file or directory
    rm failed for /system/bin/bootubuntu, No such file or directory
    rm failed for /system/bin/unionfs, No such file or directory
    rm failed for /system/bin/mountonly, No such file or directory[20]: cp: not found[21]: cp: not found[22]: cp: not found[23]: cp: not found[36]: clear: not found

    Ubuntu Chroot Bootloader v0.1
    Ubuntu Bootloader is now installed!
    This process does NOT damage Android OS!

    Original Installer by Charan Singh
    Modified for Ubuntu Chroot by Max Lee at , and NexusOn

    To enter the Ubuntu Linux console just type ‘bootubuntu’

    then i type sh bootubuntu and get this
    shell@android:/mnt/sdcard/ubuntu # sh bootubuntu
    sh bootubuntu
    bootubuntu[13]: mknod: not found
    bootubuntu[14]: losetup: not found
    mount: Invalid argument
    mount: No such file or directory
    mount: No such file or directory
    mount: No such file or directory
    bootubuntu[20]: sysctl: not found
    Setting /etc/resolv.conf to Google Open DNS and
    bootubuntu[22]: cannot create /data/local/ubuntu/etc/resolv.conf: No such file o
    r directory
    bootubuntu[23]: cannot create /data/local/ubuntu/etc/resolv.conf: No such file o
    r directory
    Setting localhost on /etc/hosts
    bootubuntu[25]: cannot create /data/local/ubuntu/etc/hosts: No such file or dire
    Brought to you by and the open source community!

    bootubuntu[29]: chroot: not found

    Shutting down Ubuntu
    bootubuntu[39]: losetup: not found
    127|shell@android:/mnt/sdcard/ubuntu #

    …. sooo what am i doing wrong? its on a galaxy tab 10.1

  60. 1337GameDev says:

    Try deleting the ubuntu direction and retrying. That may fix it. Try rebooting before you run command and ensure you have root access.

  61. 1337GameDev says:

    Sorry yes, the whole ubuntu directory. I use androzip for this. Itsnthe best ive found. Then just reextract the zip and try re-running the script to install ubuntu (ensuring u have root access)

  62. John Johnson says:

    Great videos and info. I am a noob but was able to root my Galaxy 10.1 due to your great info and vids. I also no have backed up my 3.2 update and run a second rom with the overclock pershoot and setcpu. My problem is that my battery is showing that my screen ( set at low power with power saver on ) is using anywhere from 77 to 85% of the power causing my battery to have only about 4.8 hours of life after full charge. This problem is there when using either the update 3.2 or the overclock rom setting. I went in clock work mode and did a battery wipe as suggested but the screen use was not changed. It is my understanding that the screen should not account for more than 51% of power use, can you help me.
    Thanks for all your great work.

  63. 1337GameDev says:

    I would try intentionally killing the battery and seeing if that fixes it. If not then you may need to wipe data and reapply a rom file (obviously backing up data before). If that doesnt work you may need to go back to stock rom 3.1 from samsung (then reroot) and apply a custom rom. Which rom are you using? It could be that rom file. Try another one or verify that the rom file isnt corrupted at all by verifying it using the md5 checksum and a checksum tool you can find online to ensure the rom file is fine.

  64. Dave says:

    everything started to work, up until the apt-get update.
    says the 404 for the download isnt found?
    halp? :(

  65. guigui says:

    my tab got graphic crash at opening after installing busybox bye clockwork recovery… please help me

  66. Georgij_k says:

    Can Everybody answer to me, I’ve got tab 8.9.Ubuntu will work fully? With vnc, with rdp?

    • Georgij_k says:

      I don’t use mod busybox for tab 10.1. I use busybox from market.

    • 1337GameDev says:

      no offence but please read the previous comments. It is discussed that it will work on essentially any android device. Ubuntu will work, but it is slow. Has bugs, and i hear apt-update doesnt work without some modification. Yes it till “work” but is not fully practical till they associate more processor to chroot applications.

      • Georgij_k says:

        can you describe in details about modification? Why it doesn’t work in my tab?
        I need ubuntu for rdp and snx, with work keyboard and mouse.other doesn’t matter.for this ubuntu needs ssh, vnc, Java jre. First two point isn’t working (vnc,ssh) :( what I have do for fix it?

  67. 1337GameDev says:

    Im not very experienced with how chroot interfaces with the virtual os, but you have to make sure it has internet connectivity from host machine (galaxy tab) and then run the installs for the vnc client and ssh client for ubuntu thrpugh command line. Most likely using apt-get to retrieve and install the debian packages.

    • Georgij_k says:

      Thanks. Does Debians packets suits Ubuntu for Android? And I’m not sure about ARM platform.
      How I can update Tabuntu image? Please to take me instruction.
      Maybe Max Lee updates own distribution?

  68. john says:

    Can someone give me some tips on how to get Puppy linux or another flavour to run instead of ubuntu
    Thanks John

  69. damas says:

    The servers seems to be down, tried apt-get update and everything is ignored, it fails to fetch.

  70. ashkan says:

    thank you in advance. but it seems some core files have been deleted from the server. are you going to fix it?

  71. RICARDO says:

    can i run in tab samsung 10.1 the windows xp, vista or 7

  72. georgij_k says:

    apt-get update; apt-get install tightvncserver isn’t working/
    In my personal opinion - Ubuntu image is old and doesn’t support/
    Can everybody take good image?

  73. 1337GameDev says:

    The image is compiled from ubuntu source code into the arm architecture type. Making an image will not be easy. I really wish that the person who made it wouldnt just abandon it. Currently ubuntu is making a ubuntu for tablets but it wont be ready (according to them) till over a yr. Which i find is a joke as tablets could change by then.

  74. AK says:

    I’m in a market to buy Android tablet. Specialy when Tegra 3 comes out.
    But i’m an architect and for that i need few programs that run only on windows. I found out that there is a special prgram called Wine that let you run those on Linux.
    Here is my question: would that be possible? Porting linux on tablet, than porting Autocad (through Wine) on linux?
    If its possible, would this slow things down a lot? (You should have in mind that Tegra3 will be much more powerfull than my Lenovo Thinkpad Edge with AMD proc that I use right now for portable device)
    Thanks for the anwsers!

    • 1337GameDev says:

      there are some architecture programs for android tabets. U can goto android market online and look around.
      But ubuntu is not stable. If you NEED a production device, dont go that route. Go for an actual pc if u need a pc. Wine for linux is also buggy as it is not always compatible. I would auggest getting a pc if you need the tools for pc. I saw asus netbooks are pretty good. If you want something portable, it isnt super fast but if u need non 3d intensive programs it ahoyld work. Contact the software manufacturer to see if a netbook will run it fine.

    • 1337GameDev says:

      ps: if u want an android tablet, the transformer prime is the best on market as of now.

      • AK says:

        I have a pretty impressive PC, no problems there, and i have a Thinkpad Edge 11, that can run all my programs (autocad, rhino, cs5), but its not the best portable solution. I travel a lot, and the battery on any laptop doesnt get over 5h (that is not extremly expensive or mac), plus i want the tablet for a purpose of fun. If i could also use it for work it would be amazing. I am thinking about asus prime, but i want to see first if padfone will be what they are saying it is.
        Tnx for reply.

  75. joseph says:

    i have been using this site for the last few days to root my tab 10.1 and then to over clock it. i just followed the series of instructions here to install busybox in order then follow the instructions to allow my tab to create and join ad hoc networks. i followed the instructions downloading the busybox zip, transferring it to the tab and then extracting the files in the clockwork rec mode. when I rebooted after the samsung logo the screen just goes fuzzy and the tab is unresponsive. please help, i’m shitting bricks…

    • Noah says:


      i had this problem as well.. had to re-root the device.

      goto recovery and push yout ROM via adb

      after that install busybox via market that should work….

      • David says:

        I had this very same issue as well.

        Admin, you may want to use a different method to install busybox.

        So just to be clear, what file do I use to restore my system Noah?


        • Noah says:

          I used the ROM file with my overcome rom.
          put it into a folder on your device and go into recovery mode and install rom from zip.
          all right?

          • David says:

            Right, thanks a lot.
            I was able to copy all the files from /sdcard/ to my computer, as well as a nandroid backup just in case.

            Thanks again,

  76. joseph says:

    and i’m an idiot because i didnt back up… is that it then :/

  77. Rodd says:

    The karmic repositories have been removed at the links listed in the /etc/apt/sources.list. Do know of an alternate deb location that I can put in there. Or, is there a lucid or natty .img available. I tried doing a lucid upgrade (entered the lucid source in sources.list) using apt-get upgrade. It ran out of space. I really like what you’ve done in making this easy to implement. Excellent work. Thank you.


  78. PCPimp says:

    Links broken on tightvncserver install.

  79. ProrokWielki says:

    I have a problem, when I type “sh” and i get this

    ext2: forward host lookup failed: Unknown host
    Cmd line:

  80. Noah says:


    I’ve installed it but with the update command comes an error 404
    could that be the internet connection? i’m connectet to WLAN

    vlc download also doesn’t work :(

    but thanks for your reply

  81. jesin77 says:

    as soon as i type bootubuntu i get bootubuntu: not found!
    When i type ls its in the list though. Would really appreciate your help

  82. Johnny says:

    With Ubuntu, do I still need Wifi or Tether connection to browse the internet?

  83. kiamoz says:

    thanks to y!
    but I have bit issue !
    after installing busybox from Clockwork Recovery
    my tablet was crashed on display !
    I have no access to andorid …

    just I can rebot my device to Clockwork Recovery ….
    is any way to recovery my ROM ?
    can you guide me ?

    thanks in advance ..

    • 1337GameDev says:

      You can use Odin to flash the stock rom (I believe any rom too but not sure) but i don’t remember every step. You have to first put tablet into download mode to accept Odin flashing. (you can easily good and find out how tonrestore roms to galaxy tab 10.1 using Odin and download mode)

      • kiamoz says:

        is it nesseasry to have a backup a fresh rom ?

        • 1337GameDev says:

          I am not sure if you can backup the data. You might in download mode, or in clockwork mode recovery. But the folder “sdcard” (not actually on an sdcard just user data folder) is normally erased when using Odin. I am also unsure if you HAVE to go back to the stock rom, i believe so as it isn’t the right file format. (firmware isn’t one zip file like roms, it is split between seperate parts and functions each does). I would try flashing stock, then reroot and flash clockwork recovery. I know this method works for sure, but am unsure if you have to do all steps. Also wipe cache, user data, and dalvik cache (under advanced in clockwork mod recovery) when flashing a new rom after you fix this or you may run into app problems.

          • kiamoz says:

            Okey , mu problem had solved !
            thanks a lot !

            but , every times I tried to install busyBox, my screen had crashed !
            what’s wrong ?
            ( after root )

        • noah says:

          I had this problem with de display bug too. After reinstalling my rom without buzybox the ubuntu is running.
          But now i cant access through vnc server! Ive got something like 7 profiles but none of them works :S

  84. erdem says:


    After I flashed the busybox zip file in Clockwork Recovery mode, my galaxy booted up with messed up colors. I can’t read anything on the screen. Could you please help ?!


    • David says:

      Yeah, we’ve all been having this problem recently. Did you read the comments above?
      It looks like you have to flash with Odin and root again.
      I’ll post if I get it to work.

  85. hassanal says:

    how to make the status bar like that?

  86. Charles Wehrenberg says:

    I have rooted my galaxy 10.1 (Superuser appears in my apps) and I can get unbuntu installed (~partially?) so that I have root@localhost, however, apt-get fails to find openssh-server, nor does it find tightvncserver, nor does it seem to update: I get 404 not found; fail to fetch . I have installed ROM Manager, Busybox, Android-VNC-viewer (antlersoft) from the Galaxy Market. I do not see how to open a terminal from inside superuser. What’s the drill?

    • David says:

      The reason that is happening is that the karmic source is no longer supported. What I did was use the root explorer function of ES File Explorer to go to /etc/apt/sources.list and edit that text file. Then, change every instance of “karmic” to “lucid”, and save the file.

      As to using a terminal on the tablet itself, I use “Terminal IDE”, a free app on the market. Just start with an “su” command when you enter the android terminal, and again upon entering the ubuntu terminal.

      Hope this helps,


      • Charles Wehrenberg says:

        Great idea. How do you use the ES File Explorer to see root@localhost: /etc/apt/sources.list? I can get it to see root :/ however, this is the android root, apparently not ubuntu root@localhost although both see / when asked whoami

        • David says:

          Oh right. It took me a while to figure it out. I’m actually trying to remember right now. The Ubuntu root is somewhere in in a subdirectory of the android root. Give me a bit, and I’ll remeber

        • David says:

          /data/local/ubuntu is the root directory of the ubuntu install. I think you have to run “bootubuntu” first though.

          Hope this helps,


          • David says:

            I still haven’t gotten the screen to display over vnc yet, I’ll try to figure it out tomorrow

          • Charles Wehrenberg says:

            Thank you. I reloaded ES File Explorer which now finds the required folders to allow editing sources.list, etcetera. I do not know why it refused to play at first, but all is well that ends well. You do need to have ubuntu running which I can do through either Terminal IDE or connectbot. With Busybox a download from the Android Market, and with the redirect from karmic to lucid in sources.list, this can be smoothly done. I, too, am having problems with vnc. Overall there seem some odd (that is out-of-date) parts to the tabuntu package, i.e. the python included is 2.6. Python definitely works on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is very neat. I will next try to upgrade Python to 3.0.

  87. JWG says:

    I am looking forward to following this guide. I nearly read all comments. I have my tablet rooted and am using; Overcome v1.2.3 with pershoots kernel ubunto #1, not sure about doing this guide. Can i get some adive or input?

    • David says:

      All I can say is don’t flash that version of busybox, and be prepared to change the sources list. Also, I haven’t been able to configure the display output of ubuntu correctly, but that’s unrelated. (Maybe someone could help on that?) I get a grey screen like a few of the other commenters did.

      One commenter said this: “u need to chmod +x the xatartup file or u will just get a grey x11 screen when u try to connect”, but I haven’t been successful yet.

      Other than that, it works fine for command line stuff, and I’m sure I’ll get the display working.

      Hope this helps,


  88. Cumhur says:

    It seems a great thing to do with android. Still call me lazy but can anyone tell mewha good is using tabuntu, and how it helps me to install some softwares that I am using on my PC please?
    Still hank you for the detailed information.
    All my best

  89. Mosho says:

    Anyone tried Ubunutu 12.04 beta?

    • Charles Wehrenberg says:

      Ubuntu 12.04 ships with Python 3.2.2, so installing the Ubuntu 12.04 beta seems the way to go. Currently, I need to repartition the memory in the Galaxy Tab because I am getting spurious device full messages. Then it’s a matter of determining the right Ubuntu iso and getting it into the right place. I don’t see an upgrade path from ubuntu 9.1 (to Python 3.x or to Ubuntu 12.x, so I will first rename those older files and folders…. Let me know if you have helpful procedures to recommend.

      • Mosho says:

        A newbie question! Is it possible to change the IMG file in this Tutorial whit a new ubuntu IMG?

        • Charles Wehrenberg says:

          We will see what happens with the Sourceforge linux -on-Android image of ubuntu 12.04.

        • Charles Wehrenberg says:

          The answer is yes, you can substitute the ubuntu 12.04 iso / img file for the tabuntu 9.x img. The sourceforge compile delivers python 2.7x by default, however, python 3.2.2 is included and can be called with >>>python3.2. fun

  90. Charles Wehrenberg says:

    There seems a lingering problem for ubuntu12.X with finding sdcards. I had to use ES File Explorer with ubuntu running to see both the android folders (which you can access from a PC with the Samsung Kies software download) and the ubuntu folder system. This is required to transfer files across these file systems. The external_sd is common ground. I can open python 3.2 at root and successfully run >>>exec(open(“/external_sd/”).read()). This test is a file from Programming Python, 4th ed.

  91. Tormentor says:

    Hi I went through all the comments and really interested in getting ubuntu for my galaxy tab, but I have a question about the ubuntu version. Which version of ubuntu it is? and if anyone knows if it is possible to run ROS with that version of ubuntu.

  92. Tino says:

    It got it to work once but after applying hte keyboard mapping fix now I’m stuck with the grey screen and the X cursor? Does anyone has a workaround for this issue? I did try chmod 777 the xstartup file but still

    • Charles Wehrenberg says:

      Can you access the galaxy tab files with Samsung Kies software? If you can see any files that you have added to the tablet, you can likely remove them. I would do that first, then try a reset. If you call the Samsung help and simply tell them you were loading in apps and the tab froze, they will know what can be done without a return to the factory. Most likely they will have you go into the recovery mode wherein you hold the power button held down while the vol down is also held down until you see the green android and a box, at which point you immediately let up on both buttons, then press volume down, then press volume up, and a moment later you should have Clockwork Mod Recovery where the reset factory defaults option can be found. Samsung help also will know if there is more that can be done with some of the advanced options. If you clean out the tablet and do a factory reset, and the tablet still does not return to normal function, you probably have a coincidental problem, not something you have caused.

      • 1337GameDev says:

        You misunderstood his problem. Do not listening to above comment. :/
        You might have to reinstall the Ubuntu image. You can view the tablets filesystem if you turn off USB debugging (or are on a rom that supports using USB debugging with the mtp application that shows up in windows’s my computer) you can browse files in the user data location on the tablet. You can also download androzip file manager from Google play store, or astro file browser. I am unsure if you can’t mount the Ubuntu file system in the image as a folder on the honeycomb OS.

        • David says:

          GameDev, have you gotten it to work!? I have always gotten stuck where my vnc server only displays gray with a little x as described above. I have also tried the chmod and everything. I also removed ubuntu, then reloaded it and tried again.

        • David says:

          Looking back I see you have. I’ll have to try again when I have more time.

          • 1337GameDev says:

            Yes I know it does work, but it is not worth the effort until it can be natively run. The system just isn’t fast enough and not optimized enough for the tablet. And the Distro of Ubuntu used is very old. Plus this Site hasn’t updated articles in forever, which is a shame. Just look at the galaxy task rom here, and the one on xda forum. The version on forums is light years ahead and works beautifully.

          • Charles Wehrenberg says:

            There is a problem with vnc as this GTH site would have you hook up. I suggest you look into the ubuntu for android effort at sourceforge which is ubuntu 12 precise which loads Python 3.2. I have the Sourceforge ubuntu for ARM running on my Galaxy Tab 10.1. The vnc hookup is still not too useful however with Terminal IDE I can get python to implement >>>. Unfortunately, tkinter isn’t there (yet). Also, I should have made my sdcard partition much bigger before I started, and maybe created another big etc2 partition for apps. I am running into no free space problems when I’ve 32 GB on this tablet.

  93. LikeLakers2 says:

    I’ve successfully installed ubuntu, but what annoys me is how now, unless I do su, I get “bash-4.1#” as my prompt every time now. Anyway I can fix this permenently?

  94. MarcusN says:

    Any1 know how to upgrade 9.1 Karmic Koala?? Im downloading ubuntu ISO 11.10 now, but im not sure how to boot with it..

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